The great thing about the NFL is that there are so many positions that every year, there is almost always at least one player who has a breakout year on every team, no matter how good or bad the team is. This is one part in a 32 part segment detailing one potential breakout player for the 2012 NFL season on each NFL team. For the St. Louis Rams, that player is defensive end Robert Quinn.
Robert Quinn was the 14th overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Rams and widely considered a steal. The Rams must have thought so too as they drafted him, even though defensive end wasn’t a primary need. Because it wasn’t a primary need, Quinn only played a rotational role as a rookie, but he played very well. He had 6 sacks, 9 quarterback hits, and 21 quarterback pressures on 341 pass rush snaps, a rate of 10.6%, which is very solid. With starter James Hall gone this offseason, Quinn is expected to become a starter and basically an every down end in his 2nd year in the league.
Quinn could definitely approach the 515 pass rush snaps had by Chris Long, the only every down end the Rams had last season. If he maintains last year’s rates, he would have 9 sacks, 13 quarterback hits, and 31 quarterback pressures if he plays that many pass rush snaps this season. He could also easily surpass last year’s rate, with his immense talent, going into his 2nd year in the league.
He drew rave reviews for his performance this offseason and new Head Coach Jeff Fisher is known for getting the most out of defensive lineman, particularly as pass rushers. He could definitely have a double digit sack season, giving the Rams two double digit pass rushers. He did struggle against the run last season, but he could also be improved in that aspect this season.
If you’re interested in doing a fantasy football league with me, here’s the link (no draft date set yet, currently standard, with the option to become PPR with group vote). http://msn.foxsports.com/fantasy/football/commissioner/Registration/Private.aspx?league=55086&password=FanSpot2